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Press Here: The App

When Hervé Tullet’s Press Here was published last year both readers and reviewers were charmed and surprised. Here was a clever print title that was loads of fun and far more interactive than many digital products. So sly, M. Tullet.

Now there’s a digital Press Here. Again, smart, entertaining, and more interactive than most digital titles. Merci, M. Tullet.

Title: Press Here
Author: Hervé Tullet
Illustrator: Hervé Tullet
Published by: Handprint Books/Chronicle Books
Developed by: Chronicle Books
Platform: iOS, requires iOS 3.2 or later
Version: 1.0
Price: $1.99

PreS-Gr 4-Can dots have personality? These do, in buckets. Here author/illustrator Tullet takes the yellow, red, and blue dots found in his book (Chronicle, 2011) and places them in 15 different mini-games. Viewers open the app to a screen of colorful circles wiggling in place. Touching any one of them will bring up the name of an activity including, “Are you coming?” “Rain,” “Free Play,” “Drawing,” and “Studio.” A second tap will start that particular game.

Throughout the app interaction is achieved through tapping or moving objects with a finger. For example, in “Fireworks” three dots appear on the bottom of the screen. A tap to one will send up a flare that bursts into a shower of primary colors—and their blends. Many of the activities are nonlinear (sandbox) games where the object is to see what the dots will do and how they can be manipulated. The focus in these activities is often on creating different types (or more) dots, making different sounds, or linking the spots of color in different ways. Others are more goal-oriented, such as “Memory,” a matching activity.

Nearly all of the games are simple enough to figure out by touching the screen and observing what happens. However, for the less obvious activities there’s a brief demo before starting. There is no undo or restart option; if players want to begin again they must press the home-page icon. This icon only appears if the screen hasn’t been touched for a few seconds, which may frustrate some users. Nevertheless, children will enjoy exploring and playing Press Here, repeatedly.—Melissa Murphy, Meriden Public Library, Meriden, CT